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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dems Grinch American With Pork & Failure To Address Fiscal Cliff

Update 6:18 PM. - Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Budget Committee release the following statement this evening after President Obama's mini-speech before leaving Washington, D.C. for Christmas: "President Obama today gave yet another speech about the fiscal cliff. No plan, nothing that can be scored or analyzed, just another speech. If President Obama wishes to avoid the fiscal cliff then he, with all the power and influence he holds as the leader of this nation, must submit to Congress – in legislative form – a plan that he believes can pass both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. No more secret meetings and pointless press conferences. Certainly this is not too much to ask. So we await his action: will he move from an unscorable speech to scorable legislation? If he is unwilling to submit such a plan then we may be left with only one persuasive conclusion: that he has used two years of secret meetings with Republican leaders not as an opportunity to achieve fiscal reform, but as a political exercise to defeat his opposition and preserve the expansion of federal spending."
Reid Returning to Normal
Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec 21, 2012 
Today, President Obama is scheduled to announce his appointment of Sen John Kerry as Secretary of State in his new administration. 

Senate reconvened at 1 PM today so senators could attend a memorial service for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii at Washington National Cathedral.

The Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 1, the vehicle for a supplemental appropriations bill for relief from Hurricane Sandy which is laden with Democrat pork projects in other parts of the country. At 2 PM, the Senate will turn to the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense authorization bill, H.R. 4310 and vote on passage of the conference report.

Following that vote, the Senate will return the Sandy supplemental and vote on cloture (to cut off debate) on the Reid substitute amendment to the bill. Votes on amendments to the Sandy bill and other legislation are possible this afternoon and evening.

The House will be in session at 2 PM for a few minutes to decide on adornment.

Last night,House Republican leaders withdrew a planned vote on Speaker Boehner's fiscal cliff "Plan B" measure.  Speaker Boehner said last night, "The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation's crippling debt. The Senate must now act."

Yesterday, the House passed the following bills(not listed are 9 bills naming federal properties in the U.S:
H.R. 6684 (215-209) — SEQUESTER REPLACEMENT of Military cuts by designated departmental spending cuts; Bill known as Spending Reduction Act of 2012 providing for spending reduction.
H.R. 1509 (Voice vote) — "To amend title II of the Social Security Act to prohibit the inclusion of Social Security account numbers on Medicare cards."

This morning, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out the need for the President and Senate Democrats to finally take action to prevent a massive tax hike next month: "It’s the President’s job to find a solution that can pass Congress. He’s the only one who can do it. This isn’t John Boehner’s problem to solve. He’s done his part. He’s bent over backwards. How about rallying your party around a solution? How about getting Democrats to support something? I’ve said it many times before: We simply cannot solve the problems we face unless and until the President of the United States either finds the will or develops the ability to lead. This is a moment that calls for presidential leadership. That’s the way out of this. It’s that simple.’"

McConnell rightfully pointed out that there is no reason for Democrat Harry Reid to block the previous House passed bill from discussions and amendment. Reid has been sitting on the bill for months. McConnell displaying more leadership than Harry Reid detailed the process to resolve the issue:“With ten days to go, we have an obligation to act on something that can pass the House and the Senate. And if the President won’t propose it, if Democrats won’t propose it, I will.

“Earlier this year, the House passed a bill that extends current rates on everybody for one year, with instructions for expedited comprehensive tax reform by next year.

“We can bring this House-passed bill up. If Senator Reid has a plan that can get 60 votes in the Senate, break through the disarray in his own caucus and build bipartisan support, offer that as an amendment and then let’s vote. Let’s vote on amendments from all sides.

“And then let’s go to conference with the House of Representatives. They’ve already passed a bill, one that I support, to prevent a tax hike on all Americans and reform the tax code. Let’s take it up here and get this done.

“It's called legislating folks. It's what Congress used to do."
Then we have the "Sandy Relif" bill fiasco in the Senate. In a must-read editorial today, The Wall Street Journal writes, “Only Congress could do something like this. All eyes are on the fiscal-cliff negotiations to trim the $1 trillion-plus budget deficit. Running alongside but largely out of public view is a $60.4 billion emergency spending bill to provide relief to the victims of superstorm Sandy. Trouble is, the ‘Sandy’ bill is laden with billions of dollars of spending stowaways wholly unrelated to the hurricane. . . . There's $150 million in there for Alaskan fisheries. We knew Sandy made it to the Midwest, but Alaska? Marine projects from New England to Mississippi also made the cut. Also along for the joyride is $8 million for new cars and other equipment for the Justice Department and Homeland Security, $2 million for roof repair at the Smithsonian in Washington, $4 million for the Kennedy Space Center, $3 million for oil-spill research and $348 million for the National Park Service. Nearly $17 billion is in the bill for the Community Development Fund and social service grants, two long-running initiatives to fund liberal activists. Amtrak would get $188 million, including funds for two new train tunnels in New York unrelated to Sandy. . . .  And of course some $600 million is directed to the Environmental Protection Agency to support climate change adaptation. The rationale is to spread the pork far and wide across the country to assemble the 60 votes in the Senate necessary to secure the bill's passage.”

The WSJ editors point out, “This is supposed to be an ‘emergency’ funding bill. But only about $9 billion of the $60 billion would be spent in the next nine months. The Congressional Budget Office reports that $38 billion would be spent in fiscal 2015 or beyond. Some emergency. And for all the recent talk of offsetting such commitments with reductions elsewhere, there are no spending cuts here.”

They reveal, “Our sources say Senator Schumer is rushing for immediate passage and is telling his colleagues ‘there is no Plan B.’ In other words, the only way people pummeled by Sandy will get relief is if Congress whoops through billions for pork and various non-germane wish lists.”

Not only that, according to The Hill, Schumer is “threaten[ing] Sandy bill naysayers.” “The number three Democrat in the Senate had a warning for Republicans from disaster-prone regions like the Gulf on Thursday: fully pay for Hurricane Sandy or don’t come looking for help when your turn comes. ‘New York and New Jersey, whenever other areas had disasters, billions of our tax dollars went there to help people,’ Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned, adding that opponents of a $60.4 billion Sandy spending bill could see their vote ‘boomerang on them’ in the future. ‘It’s a very slippery slope if people from other regions, particularly disaster-prone regions, go along with putting new barriers in the way,’ the senator from hard-hit New York said.”

“There's a better way,” The Journal editors write. “Pass a stripped-down bill that would provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency with funding for the continuing clean-up effort and money for flood insurance for those who lost homes and stores. That bill would provide emergency help to those who need it, at about half the $60 billion cost.”

And as Politico notes, Senate Republicans have done just that. “Senate Republicans outlined a scaled-back $23.8 billion Hurricane Sandy disaster aid package Wednesday, but it was met with a cool reception from Northeast DemocratsThe Real Harry Reid Out of Disguise

Sadly, it seems that Democrats think what “New York and New Jersey need” are billions of dollars in extra spending that the country can’t afford and is threatening to hold up relief got families and communities in the Northeast.  And the Democrats have deliberately ignored the Fiscal Cliff situation.  No wonder Sen. Harry Reid wants to change the Senate Rules so that only the Democrats control all Senate votes.  Dictatorships work well that way.

On Dec 16, 2010, we noted Harry Reid as the Grinch.  Based on his present actions, attitudes and utter failure, we have again  identified his true image.

Tags: Washington, D.C., Harry Reid, Sandy Bill, pork spending, fiscal cliff, Grinch, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:10 PM - Post Link


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